PM/BrSE’s challenges when WFH and how to overcome them

PM/BrSE’s challenges when WFH and how to overcome them

AKI Nguyen

Working from home has become a new trend in today's working environment. During the Covid 19 pandemic, many companies have implemented a remote working or hybrid policy that allows employees to work from home. Besides the advantages such as allowing work-life balance, saving costs for businesses, this form also comes with certain risks. As a PM in the project, let's point out those limitations and offer some solutions.

1. Communication

As a PM or BrSE, you will need to constantly communicate with the client as well as the dev team. Face-to-face communication in the workplace will make things faster and more efficient than having to communicate online. You will spend a lot of time through communicating tools. This will partly affect the quality of your work and the whole team.

How to overcome this:

  • Take advantage of communication tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams... to communicate with members. Besides chatting by message, you can call, share screen to make sure all team members understand the same problem
  • You must make sure to be online often so your team or client can approach you to communicate things related to their work

2. Distractions

Dogs barking, drilling machines, children crying... in an online meeting, a 15-minutes break becomes 2 hours, a delivery worker suddenly interrupts your code.. . These are not uncommon cases in the WFH environment. It affects not only you but also the rest of the team, disrupting everyone's concentration.

How to overcome this:

Find a quiet space in your home for working and remove all distractions. For important meetings that require confidentiality, make sure everyone has a private space. Actively remind members if there are distracting factors affecting everyone.

Give members private time. Avoid bothering developers with unnecessary calls and chats.

3. Teammates different time zone

I have encountered many cases where a member messaged me at 9pm, even at 1am that they finished their work. Also, there was a time when I couldn't contact a member to confirm the progress until 1pm. Developers seem to have their own productive time zone, and the WFH environment has allowed them to take full advantage of that.

How to overcome this:

As a PM, again I think we should give the developer more private time. Do not try to observe the progress so strictly. Just give the developers a clear deadline and ask them to follow it.

However, PMs also need to encourage teammates to set up regular working hours so that they can collaborate with other team members in the best way.

4. Motivation

WFH may make everyone excited in the beginning but in fact, working alone, lack of interaction with colleagues for a long time can make your member lose sight of the project long-term goals and losing their motivation.

How to overcome this:

Sometimes it is necessary to reiterate the long-term goals of the project with your members during the meeting.

You can turn on your camera during online meetings to make people see each other more. In addition, the organization of working in the form of hybrid allows everyone to work offline together on certain days is also a solution that can be considered to maintain the motivation of the team.

5. Security

The last but especially important thing is the security risks when the organization works online. Here are the most common risks during working from home:
・Insecure home network connection
・Use of online tools
・Documents leak, file sharing
・Devices lost
・Use company properties as private devices
・Can not control staff’s security awareness

How to overcome this:

  • Always require member to turn on VPN, raise the awareness of each team member about security,... Considering the above risks at the early stage to develop an appropriate solution. For projects that require high security, you can consider of organize offline work
  • Add this to the risk list at the first phrase of the project


With WFH, a PM, BrSE will encounter many new risks that arise compared to the traditional office form, in which there are 2 factors that I think are the most important. First: Communication and last element: Security.

As a PM, BrSE, it is necessary to flexibly use management tools, maintain the ability to communicate, decision-making to be able to create a working group that brings comfort to team members and maintains work efficiency and highest amount of quality.